Here you will learn how to optimize your engraving and cutting results when processing laminates. If you're using TroLase laminates, you can also take advantage of the tested parameters for processing TroLase located at the bottom of this Tips and Tricks page.
Create any kind of sign
Laminate is an ideal material for creating all types of signage using your laser engraving and cutting machine. When the surface layer of the workpiece is removed by the laser beam, the base color is exposed revealing a multidimensional effect. Laminates can also be combined together and layered to create unique and highly customizable signs, so your designs are limitless! An example of this can be seen in TroLase name tag video to the right.
Personalized two-toned stickers
Using a combination of TroLase Thins and Foils, two-toned stickers can be created by processing a kiss-cut to the upper foil. This technique lightly removes the surface layer of the workpiece (“kissed” by the laser beam but not separated) and exposes the layer underneath without disrupting it. This results in a sticker that can be easily peeled off and adhered perfectly to any surface.
Determining which table should be used
Achieving the optimal laser engraving and cutting results of your materials starts with choosing the proper table for your application. We suggest the aluminum grid table or the acrylic cutting grid table as well as covering the open surfaces to improve the vacuum/suction. This will fix the workpiece correctly during the laser engraving process.
Using the bottom to top direction when laser engraving your materials is recommend since the exhaust hose is located in the back of the machine. This will improve the likelihood of your workpiece remaining clean as well as reduce the chances of the core layer becoming discolored. This is important when processing laminates with a lighter pigmented carrier layer and dark cover layer.
Resolution from 500 dpi
Another important step in achieving the best possible laser engraving and cutting results with your workpiece is choosing the proper resolution for your graphic file. When processing TroLase, using a resolution of 500 dpi is recommended and will allow for the finer details to be laser engraved without losing clarity. With that being said, using a higher resolution will also increase the time it takes to process the job.
Use the 2” lens
When engraving laminates, we recommend using the 2” lens to allow for the small and delicate details as well as larger surfaces to be engraved optimally. The universal lens features a broader focal length but is still sized properly for engraving tiny fonts and small details, so your finished product will be top quality. Additionally, thicker laminates can also be cut with the focus length.
Use the large nozzle
When processing TroLase and other laminates, using the large nozzle will weaken the Air Assist and ensure that the freshly melted materials do not cool off too quickly. When the Air Assist is overpowering, the laser engraving will slightly alter and take on a light gray effect. Furthermore, using a more modest amount of Air Assist is necessary for the longevity of the lens because it restricts small dirt particles from reaching the lens on the air flow.
Large surface laser engravings: De-focus the lens
When laser engraving larger surfaces, processing the job with the lens intentionally de-focused is typically better suited than while in-focus. Depending on the power of your specific laser machine as well as the graphic, set the Z offset to around 2 and 7 mm to achieve a more unified result. During this process, the laser avoids the grooves and the finished product will feature a much smoother surface. This is also where lens selection is integral and for large surfaces, we recommend using a lens with a larger focal length. Additionally, for intricate and fine details, such as a 4 point font, we suggest not using any Z offset.
Clean the workpiece
Typically, if the correct laser parameters are used when processing your job, then cleanup should be pretty minimum. Usually, a slightly dampened cloth is more than enough to wipe away any residual smolder and in more severe cases where a substantial amount of residue appears, we recommend using an alcohol-free cleaner instead.
At Trotec, our industry experts have collected and tested the optimal parameters for processing TroLase materials. Achieve the perfect results every time with our laminates and your Trotec laser machine.
Using the grayscale matrix to determine the laser parameters for new product groups and materials is a technique that we highly recommend. In doing so, you will be able to locate the ideal parameters very efficiently.
TroLase is a highly versatile material that is perfect for both interior and exterior use and can be personalized and individualized in endless ways. The laminates are offered in one or multi-layered varieties as well as a wide assortment of colors and thicknesses. TroLase can also be purchased with or without self-adhesive reverse sides and special textured surfaces suitable for applications in harsh or severe environments.